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The high Church tradition in Ireland 1800-1870 with particular reference to John Jebb and Alexander Knox

Thompson, Michael James (1992) The high Church tradition in Ireland 1800-1870 with particular reference to John Jebb and Alexander Knox. Masters thesis, Durham University.



This is a critical enquiry into the widely held belief that the doctrines of pre-Tractarian High Church Anglicanism have exercised a specially tenacious hold on the Church of Ireland. Chapter 1 surveys the tradition as developed in the 17th and 18th centuries, but also examines the peculiarity of a Church established by law in a land the majority of whose people adhered to other Christian bodies. Chapter 2 outlines the careers of Knox as the forerunner and Jebb as the principal embodiment of 'Old High Church' feeling, pointing to their relations with Methodism and Roman Catholicism, and their dependence on the legal status of the Church. Chapter 3 contrasts diverse attempts to confront the problems that arose from decreasing support for that legal status on the part of the British Government, culminating in the Irish Church Temporalities Act of 1833: the trigger of the Oxford Movement. The lineaments of High Church thought at that moment, notably its patristic emphasis, are traced in Chapter 4, and its limitations exposed in an account of a contemporary ecumenical venture. It becomes clear that the Tractarians owed a debt to Irish old High Church thinking, but developed their theology well beyond even Knox and Jebb. Chapter 5 depicts Irish hostility towards Tractarian- ism, exemplified in the career of J.H. Todd, and various endeavours to maintain the High Church tradition such as the foundation of S. Columba's College. At the same time, the cornerstone of traditional Irish High Church thought is removed by the Irish Church Disestabhshment Act of 1869. Chapter 6, in recounting the speed and ferocity with which Low Church Evangelicals, chiefly amongst the laity, captured the commanding heights of the disestablished Church, seeks to throw retrospective light on the inherent weakness of the old High Church tradition. Indeed, as Chapter 7 also aims to show, it was only through imported Anglo-Catholicism that any elements of the earlier tradition were to survive. The conclusion reached in these two final chapters is that the historical situation of the Church of Ireland was never favourable to an indigenous traditionalist High Church movement capable of widespread lay support.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1992
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:16 Nov 2012 10:55

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